Skip to main content

Public meeting to gauge input on planned $2M upgrade to Harris Park

London, Ont.'s Harris Park is seen on Dec. 7, 2023. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London) London, Ont.'s Harris Park is seen on Dec. 7, 2023. (Reta Ismail/CTV News London)

A public meeting was held Thursday afternoon at Museum London regarding upgrades planned for Harris Park in the summer of 2024.

"We found through our studies that the shorelines of Harris Park was starting to fall kind of into the river, and also with the risk of the river washing out the park,” said Shawna Chambers, City of London, division manager, storm water engineering.

Chambers said the city wanted to take immediate action. The plan is to replace the Harris Park erosion control structure on the east bank of the Thames River, north of the forks of the Thames.

The city said the project will see the existing infrastructure replaced with appropriate solutions that protect the shoreline, improve park function and support natural heritage features along the river.

“People can expect some exciting changes to Harris Park, affectively we’re going to be creating a secondary pathway, which will allow people to access the waterfront more easily, there will be a look-out, they’ll be a fishing platform, as well as a boat access area,” explained Chambers.

As part of the project, Chambers said up to 40 trees will be impacted, eight of which are large mature trees.

"The roots will be impacted, and therefore they will have to come down, they'll no longer be safe for pedestrians and may fall into the river,” explained Chambers.

Member of the North Talbot Neighbourhood Association, Anna Maria Valastro is concerned a full restoration will not be completed once the mature cottonwood trees are cut down.

“I live near there, there's a big nesting site, there's soft shell spiny turtles which are listed at risk in Ontario, there's bald eagles there. My hope is that they would take this project and make a real opportunity to restore wildlife habitat," said Valastro.

Construction is expected to start after Rock the Park, and the Great Outdoors Comedy Festival in July 2024, and is anticipated to last until December 2024, with a price tag of approximately $2 million.

More information on the project can be found on the city’s website. Top Stories

Stay Connected